Currently, I am working with a very bright, young, multi-disciplinary team which is developing a programming architechture and language called SDML to model multi-agent interaction in complex institutional and technological environments. SDML is being used to simulating strategic decision-making processes, develop artificially intelligent modelling methods, model complex markets, extend such areas of soft management theory as soft systems methodology, the literature on core competencies and the whole area of the resource-based view of the organization to include more formal and computational elements.
I am presently co-coordinator with Rosaria Conte of ABSS, the Agent Based Social Simulation special interest group of AgentLink, the Esprit Network fo Excellence for Multi-Agent Systems and joint editor of a special issue of Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory on representations of cognition.
My leisure time is taken up largely by sailing the 10m steel cutter-rigged ocean-going boat Conachair which I share with my wife, Linda. We have taken her as far north as the Outer Hebrides and as far south as the Atlantic coast of Spain near the Portuguese border. I am a past Commodore of the Manchester Cruising Association.
This project uses the theory of market institutions reported in my book
An Economic Theory of Business Strategy as the basis for the specification
of autonomous adaptive agents to self-organize into markets as an interface
between human users and the five Human Genome Project databases of the
European Bioinformatics Institute. The project is planned for an
October 1998 start.
The project funding finished in 1997 and the software is now under commercial development. Although our research involved the market for alcoholic drinks, we have since been approached to apply the analysis in a range of fast moving consumer goods and in industrial markets sich as metals and plastics.
The project software uses KBS technology, genetic programming algorithms
and non-linear regression methods to identify the competitive set for any
one brand and then to identify why people buy the brands they do and the
proportions of sales accounted for by each of those purposes. In the markets
for alcoholic beverages, the determination of the competitive set of a
brand is non-trivial. A brand of scotch whisky, for example, will compete
with not only (some but by no means all) other brands of scotch whisky
but also for some purposes brandies, bourbon, Canadian whiskey, Irish whiskey
and even some curious liqueurs. The project software determines which of
these possibilities are important and also how the competitive relations
change over time. On the demand side of the market, the project software
will take the brand attributes (eg, specialness, tradition, strength,
uniqueness, and similar qualitative characteristics) as suggested by the
marketing professionals and infer from price and volume sales data what
sorts of demands there will be in the sense of desired degrees of each
attribute, the importance of the attribute to the consumer and the consumer's
tolerance to deviations from the ideal. Some demands are simply for the
"physiological" effect (ie to get drunk) while other demands might be for
social purposes (parties, weddings etc), self reward (after a promotion
or other success), and so on. A detailed statement of our early algorithms
for the determination of the demand side of these markets appeared in Omega
(vol 25), 1997. For an earlier version of the paper, click
The objective of this project was to use and extend the Centre for Policy Modelling's artificially intelligent modelling techniques as the integrating factor for the analysis of the effects of legacy systems on business process changes and, in particular, the effects of those changes on organizational structures. The grant proposal was submitted (twice) to the Systems Engineering for Business Process Change Programme. Though the project was apparently voted to have the best title, it was not funded. At least two of the funded projects turned on Soft Systems Methodology and one on semiotics. I guess these were thought more relevant to the analysis of legacy systems and business process change that modelling based on inputs from domain experts.
VLAD project software would have identified evolutionary paths of system requirements which result from different business scenarios. The other teams known to us to be working in this area are concerned with the systems and requirements arising from a given organizational structure and set of agents' goals. For this reason, agents in our system would have been represented by cognitive models in which current goals evolve over time in response to evolving business strategies and organizational structures. The main virtue of this approach would have been to help to identify legacy software constraints arising from changes in strategic and organizational changes. We anticipated that the software associated with these other teams' programmes would yield compatible, but more detailed requirements analyses, for the structures, strategies and existing systems at each stage in the simulations generated by our software. Indeed, where they each yield different requirements analyses, our software would have provided a framework within which to consider the long-run effects of the conclusions from each of these more static analyses.
Our partners in this project would have been British Steel, North West
Water, G & J Greenall Ltd and the Blackpool Victoria Hospital NHS Trust.
Moss, Scott , Helen Gaylard, Steve Wallis and Bruce Edmonds (1998), "SDML: A Multi-Agent Language for Organizational Modelling", Computational and MathematicalOrganization Theory 4, (1), 43-70.
Moss, Scott and Bruce Edmonds (1998), "Modelling Economic Learning as Modelling", Cybernetics and Systems 29, (3), 215-247.
Moss, Scott and Bruce Edmonds (1997), "A Formal Preference-State Model with Qualitative Market Judgements", Omega - the international journal of management science, 25, (2), .
Moss, Scott, Huw Dixon and Steven Wallis (1995), "Evaluating Competitive Strategies", International Journal of Intelligent Systems in Accounting, Fianance and Management, 4, (4), pp. 361-392.
Moss, Scott (1995), "Control Metaphors in the Modelling of Learning and Decision-Making Behaviour", Computational Economics 8, (4) 283-301.
Moss, Scott, Artis, M. and Ormerod, P. (1994), "A Smart Macroeconomic Forecasting System", The Journal of Forecasting 13, (3) 299-312.
Moss, Scott (1990), "Winter's Fundamental Selection Theorem: A Disproof", The Quarterly Journal of Economics pp.1071-4.
Moss, Scott, Equilibrium (1990), "Equilirium, Evolution and Learning", The Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organisation, .
Moss, Scott (1986), Investment and Innovation over the Long Wave, Research Policy, pp. 211-8.
Moss, Scott (1984), The Theory of the Firm from Marshall to Robinson and Chamberlin, Economica .
Moss, Scott, Markets and Macroeconomics Oxford: Basil Blackwell ,1984.
Moss, Scott, An Economic Theory of Business Strategy Oxford: Basil Blackwell,1980.
Tel: +44 61 247 3886 Fax: +44 61 247 6802
Centre for Policy Modelling, Manchester Metropolitan University, Aytoun Building, Aytoun Street, Manchester M1 3GH, United Kingdom.
Last updated 4th September, 1997